Liberation Theology in the Philippines: Faith in a Revolution

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Liberation Theology in the Philippines: Faith in a Revolution studies the interrelationship of international development policies and local social and economic structures in the Philippines. This ethnography demonstrates that the application of conventional development paradigms to the situation overlooks the human suffering and displacement experienced by the people for whom the policies are supposed to help. By contrast, the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) movement offers an alternative strategy for development that aims to build a more just and community-oriented society, while promoting sustainable development.

The study begins with an historical analysis of the relationship between liberation theology, the Catholic Church, and the nationalist struggle. The remaining chapters look at the real experiences of people living and working in the BECs, as they struggle against some of the negative impacts of traditional approaches to development. In addition, the author illustrates how BECs can fail when environmental and social factors clash with a community's attempts at development, and highlights the theology and religious aspects of the BEC movement. This unique contribution to the study of liberation theology and development will be of interest to scholars, students, and professionals working with development agencies and religious organizations.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

KATHLEEN M. NADEAU is an assistant professor and applied anthropology coordinator at California State University in San Bernardino.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The People's Church
Pt. I Roots of Resistance Theology 1
1 Peasant Resistance and Religious Protests in Early Philippine Society: Turning Friars against the Grain 3
2 American Colonization (1898-1946) and Repression of Organized Movements: Continuing the Revolution 17
Pt. II Liberation and Development 29
3 Cebu's Basic Ecclesial Community Movement's Alternative Plan for Sustainable Development 31
4 The Illusion of "Catching-Up Development" in Cebu 37
5 Struggle in the Uplands: Christian Farmers in Cebu 45
6 Beyond the Dumping Ground: A Critique of the BEC Model as a Strategy for Development in an Urban Site 61
Pt. III Revolutionary Theology and Marxism 73
7 Rethinking Marxism and Philippine Theology of Struggle 75
8 Conclusion: Participatory Development from the Grassroots 93
9 Epilogue: Human Rights for the Poor 101
App. A "My Life Experiences and Story about Smokey Mountain" 105
App. B Interviews with Christian Political Detainees in Cebu 111
Bibliography 117
Index 127
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